Costa Rica Celebrates Passage of Animal Rights Law

To celebrate the recent passage of legislation in Costa Rica regulating humane treatment of animals, the national government together with the municipality of San José held a block party with live music and plenty of fun yesterday on the main Paseo Colón in the capital’s downtown.

Pets had swimming pools to splash in, their own playground, hydration stations, food bags and snacks, as well as deworming and vaccination services at the free activity.

The reform to the Animal Welfare Law (no. 7451) was approved in second legislative debate on Thursday, June 1, after having been discussed for several months.

The legislation stipulates prison terms ranging from three months to one year for those who injure a domestic or domesticated animal, said the government’s press office. Likewise, similar terms apply to people who organize, encourage or carry out animal fights.

In addition, fines ranging from a quarter to half of a base salary can be applied to those who don’t pick up their dog’s solid waste from public spaces. Similar fines apply to those who promote or carry out animal breeding or training with the purpose of using the animals for fights, and/or those who “breach the provisions on experimentation, or who breach basic animal welfare conditions.”

Sanctions under the law do not apply to those who engage in commercial activities such as fishing, aquaculture, agriculture, livestock, livestock, veterinary activities, sanitary or phytosanitary control, marking, animal reproductive control or animal hygiene. These and other uses of animals for commercial purposes fall under existing regulations set out by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.


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